During the spring semester of 2020, Grove City College was shut down. All classes were moved online in order to comply with a state-wide stay at home order from the governor. However, several students were unable to return home. I was among them. I could not go home due to travel restrictions to and from Hawaii. My friend Janna is from Singapore, whose borders were closed completely at the time. But not all were limited by travel problems. One of us had a high-risk family member living at home. He opted to avoid any risk of infecting them, even though his home was only a few minutes up the road.
During my time with “The Remnant,” of students remaining on-campus, I journaled about what it was like on campus. We pick back up the day after I met The Remnant. Two days remained until online classes started.
March 21st, 2020
As I had hoped, I was much more productive today than I have been previously. Granted, that’s not a very high bar, but I at least got a fair bit of studying done. I attended an optional online study session for Spanish. I already went to an in-person session before the quarantine and she used the same materials, but it was still helpful to make sure I had a handle on the software. I plan to spend a lot of time tomorrow making sure I have all my vocabulary and grammar down for the test on Monday. I’ve noticed a significant improvement in my guitar playing ability. With all the free time I have I’ve been doing various drills and I’ve started learning new songs. My balisong tricks are also getting better but I have a long way to go in that department. I’ve almost run out of breakfast sandwiches so I’ll have to start leaving my room for breakfast soon. Suffice to say I’m not thrilled with that prospect. While the main dining hall has remained open during the shutdown, the quality of the food is less than ideal, and they’ve closed off most of the sections so that the selection is also significantly marred. This evening we had the first Remnant game night. We all got dinner together then headed to ketrec and played just about everything from ping-pong to cards against humanity. It was a great time getting to know everyone and sharing some laughs. Overall today was a great day. -Jacob
This entry touched on the other factor besides friends that got me through the worst of quarantine: hobbies. I play guitar and video games, and I learn tricks with a special type of knife called a balisong. Having a variety of hobbies to keep you occupied is great in all of college life, not just quarantine. If I could share one thing I have learned so far in college, it would be that having hobbies is important. It is good to have something you enjoy that you can come back to.
Stay tuned for further installments of The Remnant!